The Ultimate Guide to (Mostly) Romantic Period Dramas

In this post: The ultimate guide to romantic period dramas available to watch on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Also includes movies that can be rented on Amazon.com. 

Watching television is definitely one of my guilty pleasures. It helps me unwind in the evening, and as an empty nester, it helps fill the hours I used to spend with my kids. It sounds dramatic to say that Netflix has changed my life, but in a way, it really has. (Along with a smart TV!) A whole new world of entertainment opened up when I discovered Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. I spend my days running this blog…but when I want to kick back in the evening, I watch TV…and I am never happier than when I am watching romantic period dramas.

Finding romantic period dramas on regular cable TV is next to impossible. Not so with the movie channels. There are so many to choose from that I decided to compile this list. It’s not a “complete” list because there will always be additions and deletions. But it’s very extensive and I’ve tried to include as many movies and shows as I could find. 

collage of romantic period dramas

I’ve listed the movies and shows according to where they can be viewed. The lists themselves are in no particular order. A few things before we get to the lists.

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

Amazon Prime Video is free if you have an Amazon Prime account. The Prime Video app can be installed on a smart phone, tablet, or smart TV. The add-on channels available through Amazon Prime Video are not free, but you can get a free 7-day trial. The cheapest one is Acorn which is $4.99 per month and the price goes up from there. To learn more, click these links:

Netflix is also an app that can be viewed on a smart phone, tablet, or smart TV. Click HERE for more information. The first month is free and you can cancel at anytime. 

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The Ultimate Guide to (Mostly) Romantic Period Dramas

Romantic Period Dramas on Amazon Prime Video
(Free with an Amazon Prime Membership. View on a smart TV, smart phone, or tablet with the Amazon Prime Video app.)

Downton Abbey Seasons 1-6
Sense and Sensibility 2008 (Hattie Morahan as Elinor)
Pride and Prejudice 1995 (Masterpiece version)
Victoria Season 1
Emma 2009 (Romola Garai as Emma)
Poldark Seasons 1-3 (Season 4 airing on PBS this fall.) Watch the Season 4 trailer HERE.
The Crimson Field
Upstairs Downstairs 2011
Home Fires
Lark Rise to Candleford
Cranford
Breathe (Claire Foy)
Morning Glory (Christopher Reeve & Deborah Raffin)
Jane Eyre 2006
My Mother and Other Strangers
Indian Summers
Grantchester
Madame Bovary 2000
Wuthering Heights 2012
To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters
Doctor Thorne
Miss Austen Regrets
Bomb Girls
Parade’s End
Mercy Street
Mr. Selfridge
Ladies in Lavender (Maggie Smith & Judi Dench)
Our Mutual Friend
Gone With The Wind
Basil
The Age of Innocence

Available to watch on Amazon Prime Video with an add-on subscription to PBS Masterpiece

Little Women 2018
Victoria Season 2
Northanger Abbey
Jamestown

Available to watch on Amazon Prime Video with an add-on subscription to Acorn

ANZAC Girls
A Place to Call Home Seasons 1-5 (Season 6 begins August 31.) Watch the Season 6 trailer HERE.

Available to watch on Amazon Prime Video with an add-on subscription to BritBox

Return to Cranford
The Village

Available to watch on Amazon Prime Video with an add-on subscription to Starz

Outlander

Romantic Period Dramas available to rent on Amazon.com
(movies purchased/rented on Amazon.com can be viewed on the Amazon Prime Video app.)

Sense and Sensibility 1995 (Emma Thompson as Elinor)
Pride and Prejudice 2005 (Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth)
Pearl Harbor 2001 
Emma 1996 (Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma)
Miss Potter
Little Women 1994 (Susan Sarandon as Marmee)
Persuasion 1995
Becoming Jane (Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen)
Jane Eyre 2011
Far From The Madding Crowd 2015
War & Peace (BBC One/PBS 2016)
Brooklyn
The Halycon
Land Girls
Belle
Testament of Youth

Netflix is pretty far behind Amazon when it comes to offering romantic period dramas. They do have a few good shows that are definitely worth mentioning. 

Romantic Period Dramas available to Watch on Netflix

The Crown Seasons 1 & 2
Anne with an “E” Seasons 1 & 2 (Loosely based on the Anne of Green Gables books)
Howards End 1992
When Calls The Heart
Godless
The Paradise
Death Comes to Pemberley
Call The Midwife Seasons 1-6
Madame Bovary 2014
North & South
The Duchess
The King’s Speech
Woman In Gold
Atonement
Madame Bovary 2014
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (coming August 10.) Watch the trailer HERE.

Here’s to many happy hours
traveling back in time!

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24 Comments

  1. Jane in Maine says:

    North & South is one of the two best romantic period of dramas of all time – Pride & Prejudice (1995) being the other.

  2. Call The Midwife was an unexpected pleasure – I LOVED all 6 seasons!

  3. Hi Ann,
    I watched The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Peel Society flick a couple of days ago….
    LOVED IT. I especially liked seeing so many “old friends” from Downton Abbey.
    Have a good day!
    Mildred

  4. Thank you so much for explaining all this! I just got Amazon Prime and realized I could watch movies, but had no idea all of these great movies are on there! I also didn’t understand about the add ons! This new world of technology is pretty daunting for me! 😳

  5. Sheila DelCharco says:

    I don’t watch a lot of TV but with this list in hand I think I’ll start this fall! My baby moves into her dorm next week and then I’ll be an empty nester too! Thanks for sharing such a great list!

  6. stacey avelar says:

    Great list! I love Masterpiece Theatre and would like to let everyone know that you can stream the latest episodes free from the day they air for about two weeks. If you pay $60/year you can stream a whole library of their productions. You can cast from a Chromecast or be low tech like me and go from laptop to tv with an HDMI cable.
    Also Bletchley Circle about women code breakers in WWII, not a romance, but so good!

  7. Ann, I was going to suggest that we needed a printable copy of your recommendations and BOOM! It was right there! You are amazing and so thoughtful!

  8. I too love watching TV especially binge watching period romantic stories! One of my favorites not on your list is on Acorn called Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries; set in the 1920’s the costumes are fabulous!!! and with a strong women lead. Enjoy!!!

  9. Thank you! We are ‘new’ to the smart tv trend and just learning what is available. This list is wonderful! I’ve printed it and now will have a guide to all the shows I want to watch.

  10. Why, thank you, thank you! I believe you have just opened a new door for me.
    : )

  11. What an amazing list! Thank you, Ann!
    Ready for winter, now!!

    Happy viewing to you!

    1. Dear Ann,
      First, I had not realized you were an empty nester. Me too.
      I love your blog. Thank you for this favorite list of period dramas. I will enjoy every one.
      You are so lovely

  12. Thanks for this comprehensive list! I downloaded it. I started watching the first season of The Crown based on a post you wrote.

  13. Thanks for this amazing list!
    We are currently watching Forsyth Saga on PBS. An amazing story of a family divided. Starts in 1800’s and moves into the 1920’s
    Another wonderful PB S story.

  14. Francis Moore says:

    Love, love, Poldark. There are 3 seasons on Amazon Prime with the 4th one coming to Masterpiece in September.

  15. Thank you Ann . For this wonderful list! “” Place to call home”. Is a great soap. Is too bad about Dr Blake , they canceled the show! I hope another Company, picks it up.
    I’m addictive to good series, can’t stop watching them.
    Have a good week 💕🌸🌸

  16. I also love all the shows you have listed…my new addition to the list would be in a totally different direction but a fun addition….
    Netflix
    Somebody feed Phil
    I’ll have what Phil’s having

    Travel, food and laughs

  17. Always someone who watched TV only when a documentary or some crime stopper bulletin was airing, I never had much time for period drama, until the last few years. My oh my, I have developed a passion. Our local PBS has always been front forward in jumping onto the genre and of course, Amazon, Netflix and Acorn have only fueled my interest. I totally agree with your listings and there are a few (well quite a few) that I haven’t seen but just finished “A Place to Call Home” last week. I had to watch in bits and spurts most times because of family obligations an our new Puppy, Miss Lola the Wonder Dog. I forgot just how much goes into the first months. Sleep is optional here! Looking forward to seeing more. I will actually print off your lists for future reference, thank you!

  18. Thanks Ann. We are winter watchers and thought we were pretty m out of options. This will help. Oh DowntonAbbey how we miss you!

  19. Great list thank you for sharing

  20. Ann, I have been following you for some time and I remember at one time you posted where you purchased your living room coffee table and end tables. I have been searching your post this evening and can’t find the post. Do you remember where they you bought them? Problem with me is I keep reading all these interesting post from before I was a regular reader and you share so much wonderful information that I get absorbed with inspiration.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hello! The tables in our living room were purchased about 30 years ago when we moved into this house. At one point, I found something very similar on a retail website but now the listings are gone. I did another search but could find nothing. I will keep looking and if I find something, I’ll add it to my shop page.

  21. Nana Diana says:

    Thanks so much for your list. There are a few here that I haven’t run across yet. I just finished Anne (with an E) of Green Gables- I thought it was cute and it was a very loose adaptation-but still and all—good.
    I LOVE Mr. Selfridge & The Paradise and several others there, too.
    I hope you have a wonderful evening, Ann (with no E) xo Diana

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Diana! Yes…the Anne with an “E” show is an extremely loose adaptation! I agree though, enjoyable to watch. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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